Kickstarter for musicians

Lessons learned in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign

[This article was written by jazz pianist and CD Baby artist George Kahn. Click HERE to read the first part of the series.]

The Jazz & Blues Revue is now two weeks into our forty-day Kickstarter campaign. Although I have released seven albums on my own, using my boutique record company and CD Baby for distribution, this is the first time I have used crowdfunding to finance a project.

Here are four tips that I have learned this week that can help you have success with Kickstarter:

1. It starts with a sprint, and turns into a marathon

Last week I spoke about  “first followers.”  It is important to have key people lined up to get your project off to a fast start.  Getting traction, and being “in the race” is important to attract others to join your vision and goal. We had a very successful launch, and after two weeks we are 33% to our goal of $18,000 to fund our new album. Now the strategy shifts; we are in a marathon, and perseverance and endurance will be more important than speed and flash.

2. It takes a village

Hillary taught us that it takes a village to raise a child.  In the same way, it takes a village to raise money on Kickstarter.  You need to get a “buy in” from the members of your group, so that everyone is involved in promoting the project and asking people to get involved. Each person will have their own strengths they can bring to the project. One band member may be great with viral marketing, another with writing copy, and another with having a rich uncle. Find each person’s strength, and let him or her bring it to the table. Everyone in the group needs to own the project for it to succeed.

3. Use different platforms

When it comes to Internet marketing, the more the merrier. Social media continues to evolve, and the more places you show up the more likely it is that people will notice you. Posting on Facebook is the obvious place to start, but you can also post to your groups, and send individual requests to your friends. Over the last year I joined every LinkedIn group I could find related to music, jazz or blues. I am now sending these Kickstarter blog posts to these groups. I also manage four other blogs, and am using them to spread the word. In a similar way, Twitter has various levels of involvement. I don’t do Pinterest or Tumblr, but the more you can be on these various platforms, the better your chances for people to find your project.

4. Time to ask

Now it is time to not just go wide, it is time to go deep. This is the hard part for many people. Picking up the phone and asking for help brings up feelings of fear and rejection, and may even bring up concerns about self worth and your relationship with money. Remember, this is no time for “paralysis of the analysis.” You have already sent the mass emails.  Now is the week to send personal emails to the people you know most likely to support your vision. Then, if their pledge does not show up in a couple of days, a follow-up text message or phone call is appropriate. Time to put on your Nike shirt and shoes, and Just Do It.

[Read part 3 of this series HERE.]

Check out Gorge Kahn’s music at To get involved in this Kickstarter project, click HERE

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[Days of the week image from Shutterstock.]